Alumnus Takes Over as Station Manager at Public Radio Station

For alumnus Maxie C. Jackson III, there is no such thing as a typical day at ideastream's public radio station, WCPN FM 90.3, since his work within the "…organization is fluid depending on priorities, goals, objectives and tasks."

With more than 20 years of management and programming experience in radio, television and live events, Jackson now serves as Station Manager at ideastream's public radio station, WCPN FM 90.3, serving the greater Cleveland area.

In his new position, Jackson hopes to continue his primary goal of his public media career, "to serve as a catalyst towards greater inclusion and diversity with respect to audience, donor, professional, management and programming development."

"My vision of the future of public media is one offering greater public service to all Americans," he said.

In addition to serving as WCPN Station Manager, Jackson also currently serves as CEO and Principal for MaxWorx Media, LLC, a media company specializing in analysis, innovation and cultivation.

Before joining ideastream, Jackson was the President and CEO of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and before that he was the Senior Director of Program Development for New York Public Radio (WNYC) and the Radio Program Director for the Greater Washington Education Telecommunications Association (WETA).

"I refer to myself as 'multifarious,'" Jackson said, "because I’ve worked as: a special events writer, video producer, advertising copy writer, commercial radio on-air personality, radio program director, cable TV producer, satellite radio executive, and consultant, in addition to all I've done in public radio."

Jackson received his master's degree in Telecommunications Management from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 1994. Approximately 75 percent of his classmates in his program at MSU originated from Taiwan.

"I chose to engage many of them in a cultural exchange of sorts – sharing African American films and hip-hop culture in exchange for Taiwanese food and cultural norms, and much more," Jackson said. "I benefited from the relationships and I hope I had a positive impact on their perception of Americans, in particular, African Americans."

When asked about his overall experience in public media, Jackson shared the significance in understanding the overwhelming impact media has on society.

"It is not lost on me that I have a responsibility to present media that reflects the patch quilt – not melting pot – of American society," he said. "I've intentionally stayed in public media because of its unique 'mission-driven' approach to media creation. That mission is public service."

As for the younger generation of Spartans, Jackson advised them to, "follow your passion and be ruthlessly strategic in following the trends within and impacting the industry of your choice. If choosing public media, be a part of the solution with respect to broadening the appeal of public service media to strengthen the very fabric of our nation."